Aim. This article argues that the current model of emergency practice in rural Victorian hospitals, which relies heavily on visiting medical officers, needs to be reconceptualised if emergency services are to be supplied to rural communities. Background. Medical workforce shortages are manifesting in Victoria as a reduction in emergency care services from rural hospitals. The suggested alternative model of emergency care involves advancing nursing practice to enable a redistribution of clinical capacity across the health care team. Clinicians will need to work collaboratively and continuously negotiate their roles to meet the patient's and the clinical team's needs.